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Scientists Collaborate to Increase Accuracy of Optical Radar

EuroPhotonics
Jun 2017
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Improving the precision of optical radar is the goal of an international consortium comprised of scientists from the Leibniz University of Hanover, the University of Oulu, and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU). The consortium met in early 2017 to discuss the joint development and implementation of a novel avalanche switch, considered the heart of a high-speed transmitter.

The consortium has experimentally shown that picosecond switching, determined by double avalanche injection in the collector-base diode, gives way to formation and shrinkage of the collector field domain typical of avalanche transistors under secondary breakdown. The latter regime, characterized by a lower residual voltage, was shown to occur in spite of a short-connected emitter and base.

Earlier research, conducted by a team of researchers from SPbPU, Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology, and the University of Oulu, led to the development of an optical transmitter that was shown to increase the accuracy of optical radars nearly tenfold. These results were achieved by applying shorter optical pulses (a duration of about one nanosecond) for the scanning procedure.

Reducing the pulse length while maintaining the transmitter’s power was shown to significantly improve its accuracy. The device created at SPbPU demonstrated 40 V/1 ns. Typical indicators in similar devices are 30 to 40 V/3 to 5 ns.

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Leibniz University of Hanover and University of Oulu established the international consortium members.

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Leibniz University of Hanover and University of Oulu established the international consortium "research laboratory of high-speed pulse avalanche transistor switches for vision systems.” Courtesy of SPbPU.

The goal of the scientific consortium is to continue to collaborate on improvements to the characteristics of the optical emitter. The research will focus on increasing the radiating power, the pulse repetition rate and the transition to a sub-nanosecond area.

The consortium believes that this device could have applications in a range of industries, including shipbuilding, automotive, aircraft manufacturing, optical detection and electronic equipment manufacturing.

The research was published in IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (doi: 10.1109/TED.2016.2581320).

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